International development is as much a business as it is a labor of love, and chances are you won’t choose your next assignment based on the money.
That said, compensation is an important part of human resources management, and comprehensive data on salaries and benefits is hard to come by. That’s why Devex is shedding light on the salaries and work of those holding jobs that international development organizations commonly hire for. It’s part of our mission to help aid professionals do good and make informed decisions about their careers.
Today’s spotlight is on a program coordinator at a faith-based nongovernmental organization in Kenya.
Position title: program coordinator
Position type: full-time
Sample tasks: coordinates and oversees program implementation, including ensuring timely production of necessary reports for submission to donors, developing and maintaining detailed project schedules, documenting best practices, continuously reviewing program needs, traveling regularly to project sites to monitor staff and activities, and mobilizing resources
Salary (equivalent in U.S. dollars): $700-$1,200 per month
Kenya’s foreign aid job market
The World Bankclassifies Kenya as a low-income economy. The country is the ninth largest recipient of official development assistance in Africa, exceeding $1.6 billion this year, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Based on our analysis of job ads posted on Devex, Kenya is also among the top five countries in terms of hiring so far in 2012.
Compensation isn’t everything
The details provided in this article were derived from a survey of select development workers stationed in various parts of the globe. Due to the sensitivity of the information, we are keeping the respondents’ identities and organizations confidential.
Compensation varies greatly from one job, country or organization to another. Even for the same position, differences in remuneration occur based on educational background, experience and an applicant’s most recent salary, an organization’s need and the sector it operates in, as well as whether it is hiring locally or internationally. Also, some organizations offer more generous benefit packages than others, or they offer perks such as regular travel, training or other career development services that should not be discounted. For senior-level international hires, in particular, benefits such as housing and education allowances often amount to tens of thousands of dollars per year.
At the end of the day, aid workers tell us that the chance to help alleviate suffering and lift people out of poverty are well worth any pay cut they may have encountered switching from the private sector.
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